Bloomberg — Brazil’s protesting truckers lifted some road blockades Wednesday after President Jair Bolsonaro broke a two-day silence following his election defeat by calling for the demonstrations to be discontinued.
The protests against the result of Sunday’s presidential election, which Bolsonaro narrowly lost, were still partially or fully blocking 156 highways across 15 states on Wednesday morning, while 601 protests had already been dismantled, according to the federal highway police. That compares to more than 200 highways affected on Tuesday morning.
The protests, which threaten to disrupt Brazil’s key agriculture sector, are being held by Bolsonaro backers to show dissatisfaction with his defeat to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva by a margin of less than 2 percentage points, the tightest result in a presidential runoff in the country’s recent history.
Although Bolsonaro didn’t formally concede defeat in the short speech he gave on Tuesday, he said he would follow the constitution, and asked for the demonstrations to be suspended, saying they were “leftist methods.”
Bolsonaro’s Chief of Staff Ciro Nogueira did acknowledge the loss, saying the president had allowed him to formally begin the government transition. That is set to start Thursday, with Vice President-elect Geraldo Alckmin leading the process, he said. Wednesday is a public holiday in Brazil.
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